When it comes to getting fitter and healthier, knowledge is power. Fitness trackers, or wrist-worn gadgets, can tell you more about yourself than even you ever knew.
I bought my FitBit in October of 2014 and I was excited to start wearing and seeing the daily numbers. The thought of seeing how many steps, calories and even my sleep patterns was exciting to me as a wellness professional.
Disclaimer: You don’t walk nearly as much as you think you do. It was an eye opener that I was not always getting the recommended 10,000 steps a day...sometimes I didn’t even get close.
So, I made it a priority to move every hour when I am in the office and on the road to make sure that I get steps in after work.
Studies show that people who keep logs are the most successful at reaching their health, fitness and weight loss goals. But it’s more than logging your steps, it’s about building community and support as well as adapting these changes into your everyday life. Most trackers have an app or some sort of social program that allows you to interact and share your progress or goals with friends.
We have a group of FitBit wearers at Avera Health Plans and we try to do a weekly or weekend challenge to help keep us motivated and add a friendly competition element. This motivates us to try to be the top stepper! A little competition is good — especially when it comes to health and wellness! Studies indicate that people can maintain the initial level of enthusiasm that monitoring brings by setting and regularly updating health and fitness "goals" to foster a healthy sense of competition. Today’s fitness trackers do just that.
If you are looking to get a wearable device, do some research. Find one that will have all the features you want and is in your price range. Keep in mind, wellness is a large part of most health insurance plans so make sure to check with your insurance provider to see if they provide discounts for fitness trackers.
Don’t forget to get your friends and family involved and remember, have FUN!
- The New England Journal of Medicine, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- The American Journal of Preventative Medicine
- The Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise